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since 15/01/2003


Nintendo Wii Nunchuk Controller 02/02/2008

So wait, I hold this in my left hand???

Nintendo Wii Nunchuk Controller INTRO So the Christmas rush and the January Sales are now over. People have realised that they've spent far too much money on products they never realised they needed until just a couple of months ago. One such boom product in particular is the Nintendo Wii, which despite having launched over a year ago, is still difficult to come by and very much in demand with nationwide shortages reported over the festive period. For those of you lucky enough to get your hands on a Wii, the first thing that will have struck you is that very peculiar shaped controller that looks like a TV Remote. And what's this other thing with an analogue stick on the top. That my friend is the Nintendo Nunchuk controller, and forms the basis of this review. Firstly the basics. THE OTHER HALF The idea is that you hold the main Wii Remote (the one that looks like a remote) in your right hand with a view to pointing it towards the screen as you would a normal TV remote. At the base of the remote there is a socket for attaching the Nunchuk device. THE NUNCHUK ITSELF The Nunchuk is then held in your left hand and consists of a moulded curved shape with an Analogue stick (or mini joystick) on the top, and a Trigger button (Called the Z button) and a small round button (Called the C button). The idea is that you hold it so that the Analogue stick is pointing upwards, and you will find that the shape of the Nunchuk allows for your thumb to comfortably control the Analogue, whilst the rest of your ...

Lost - Series 1 - Complete (Box Set) (DVD) 12/01/2008

Get Lost in this excellent experience

Lost - Series 1 - Complete (Box Set) (DVD) When was the last time you watched a TV series and it made you think? A TV series that kept you guessing, so that you didn't quite know what was going on right until the very end? Thought of any? Right now take out of that list any whodunits or Jonathan Creek style dramas. What have you got left? Anything? Chances are not a lot, and whilst we as an audience like to keep guessing at what's happening and why, it seems to be a very under-developed market outside of the murder mystery genre. Well to fill that gap, ladies and gentlemen I give you Lost. This particular review focuses on the first series of the hit TV show, Lost, in a single box set. Basic Plot Synopsis The premise for Lost is that a plane from Sydney to Los Angeles - Oceanic Flight 815 is ripped asunder and has crashed and the passengers have ended up stranded on a remote island. Initially it's just the normal scenario of everyone banded together for survival immediately after the crash. The wounded are treated and shelters are built. Everything seems, well normal. Of course if things stayed like that, Lost wouldn't be the phenomenon that it is. After just a single night the passengers hear strange noises in the jungle, something loud and seemingly big is causing the trees of the jungle inland to move violently. And if that wasn't enough, a scouting trip the next day to where the cockpit of the plane landed finds the pilot, who tells them that they have a limited chance of rescue because when they crashed ...

Mercury Meltdown Revolution (Wii) 08/01/2008

Viva la Revolution

Mercury Meltdown Revolution (Wii) Nintendo has built up a reputation amongst many as being a games developer that likes bright colours in its games, and the Wii itself is famous for its unique control system and for its party games. So its no surprise really to see a game like Mercury Meltdown Revolution (MMR from here on in) hit the shelves on the Wii format. What is surprising though is that it's actually not a bad game at all. The basis for the game is that you take control of a blob of mercury. You then have to guide this blob of mercury around various stages to get to goal within the time limit. Now this doesn't sound like much, and it isn't but in its simplicity lays its appeal. No long stories or complicated narrative get in the way of good old fashioned puzzle gaming. The way the game works (and the reason it is released on the Wii) is largely down to its control system. Basically you hold the Wii Remote flat, but pointing horizontal, like you would hold a handheld game, and then tilt it left, right, forward or back to make the stage the mercury ball is navigating tilt. The blob will then roll with gravity and momentum. The more you tilt the Wii Remote, the more the stage will tilt and the faster your blob will move. The only other controls are for zooming in and out (the "1" and "2" buttons) and for moving the camera angle 90o (the D-Pad) to get a better view of your blob and its maze. This control system probably seems far to simple in light of the multi-buttoned and combo-heavy games that ...

Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock (Wii) 04/01/2008

It's only rock and roll, but you'll like it!

Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock (Wii) Its time to rock hard people, and when I say rock hard I mean it in more than one way! With the Wii just shy of a year old, the Guitar Hero franchise makes its way to Nintendo's little white box. Gone are the days when you'll jump around the room playing air guitar to your favourite Rock Anthems. Now Activision and Red Octane have produced a game that allows you to do all that but with a pseudo-guitar in your hands. Rock On! So let me explain, for those not already in the know, the Guitar Hero games are based on the premise of you pretending to play the guitar along to music in a similar vein to the dance mat games of yesteryear. As with those dance mat games, musical notes approach vertically on screen, and when they reach the bottom of the screen, that's your cue to play the required combination. Initially just playing the guitar controller itself seems difficult - perhaps too difficult to even give the game a chance. I know when I first played it I thought I would never get to grips with it. Luckily there is a training mode and a practice mode (more on them later), that really help you get to grips with the basics and more very quickly. The controller itself looks like a guitar and the Wii Remote slots into a panel at the back, but pushes through so that all the top buttons of the remote can still be touched if required (although you need none of them to play this game). The main controls for the game are a black strum button in the middle of the head of the ...

Armani Mania Men 06/08/2005


Armani Mania Men Throughout its life, Armani has been perceived as a company who produce goods of high quality. As a result, it has followed that people who own Armani products often use them as some sort of status symbol, in that not only can they afford the expensive prices, but also appreciate fine quality. So moving onto this aftershave then - a relatively new fragrance, "Mania" by Armani for Men - does this product fall into this category of high quality or is it another shameful release simply attached to the brand to sell it? I bought a 100ml (3.4 Fl oz in old money) bottle of this aftershave a little over a year ago, as I was intrigued by the new fragrance, and wanted a new aftershave. It cost me £35.00 - which is the RRP although I'm sure if you shopped around or looked online you could find it cheaper than that. Giorgio Armani themselves describe the fragrance of this aftershave in terms of three words - Fresh then Woody and finally Amber. *For all those who are adverse to obscure and seemingly random descriptions of fragrances, look away now!* Giorgio Armani state that the freshness of the fragrance is derived from both mandarin and saffron, the woody-ness comes from cedar and vetiver (a fragrant grass of a similar ilk as lemon grass) and the amber comes from well, amber. Personally I cannot derive any of these things from smelling the fragrance. Although upon sniffing the fragrance it does remind me a little of fruit, although whether this is the mandarin spoken ...

Diesel Plus Plus Shower Gel 01/08/2005

Have a Milky Shower

Diesel Plus Plus Shower Gel INTRO Having a huge backlog of Shower Gel/Deodorant sets bought for me every Christmas, I decided I would try one this one as it seemed a little different from the rest. The first thing you will notice is that this product is deemed Shower Milk rather than say Gel. "Why?" I hear you ask well, you only have to open the bottle to find out. CONTENTS Most Shower Gels are fairly runny in their consistency, but upon opening this bottle and squeezing some of the liquid out, I found it to be a lot more viscous than most shower gels. It seems to have the consistency of lightly whipped cream and certainly does feel slightly different to normal gels on the skin. When applying it, it feels more like a moisturiser than a shower gel, however once it has come into contact with the water, its viscosity is reduced in a similar fashion to shower gel, and it feels more natural and easier to wash yourself with. As most people are concerned about the smell of such products - myself included - the good old sniff test whilst applying the milk was mandatory. This is where the milk seems to break convention once again. The smell of most shower gels is incredibly strong, be it either fruity or perfume fragrances. The Diesel Shower Milk however has a very discrete smell that does not seem to overpower your shower experience or leave you smelling of pomegranate for the next 6 hours. The smell is slightly fragranced and contemporary. I'm not sure if this is solely because it is a masculine shower ...

Donkey Konga (GameCube) 06/06/2005

Doo Doo Doo! Come on and do the Konga!

Donkey Konga (GameCube) Since children's TV encouraged us to clap along to "The Wheels on the Bus go round and round" or something of a similar ilk, people across the globe have been keen join in with music using their limbs. Many become musicians, others become drummers (lol), and others simply play on those dance-mat contraptions to little Japanese ditties. So imagine the possibility then of being able to drum along to some classic tunes on a games console - I'm sure you're literally drooling with anticipation. The game itself is a Nintendo GameCube exclusive and features Donkey Kong, Nintendo's very first franchise, and one of its most loved characters. For those of you who are unaware, Donkey Kong (or DK for short) is a big orange ape who goes about in the nude apart from a red monogrammed tie that he sports around his neck. His little companion Diddy Kong is also present in the game, being a much smaller chimp, who is much more refined in that he sports a red baseball cap and a T-Shirt! Instead of actually controlling these characters - as is the way with most games - they are simply characters on screen who really have no bearing on the game much - but the game has to have a style and focus, and monkeys and their story is it. Following a similar vein to the dance-mat machines I mentioned earlier, Donkey Konga is concerned with following the onscreen commands on the screen in time with the song. The main difference between this game and any other is undoubtedly the controller. This ...

Super Smash Bros.: Melee (GameCube) 02/06/2005

Enter the funnest frey you'll ever play

Super Smash Bros.: Melee (GameCube) Building on the already infamous success of Super Smash Bros on the N64, SSBM on the GameCube adds a whole plethora of new options, characters, modes and additional extras to keep this game firmly sealed within your Cube. Pessimists may say that it is simply a souped-up version of the N64 classic, and this may raise questions as to whether or not it is necessary to part with more cash for this new instalment. I can assure you that within 5 minutes of playing this game, you'll realise you made the right decision. The premise for the main game remains unchanged. Basically this game is a 2D beat-em-up on a wide variety of levels. Players choose a character and fight each other to inflict the most damage. What sets it apart from other beat-em-ups is that instead of a health meter that depletes with damage that is taken, each player has a damage meter which is measured in %. Every time a player has damage inflicted on them this damage increases. There is no maximum damage that a player can sustain. The twist is that as a player becomes more damaged, they are hit further and further with attacks. When a player is hit off of the side, top or bottom of the screen, they die. After each fight players are given awards depending on how they played. There are loads of different awards that you could receive from being the first to strike a blow, or spending the most time in the air. There are 14 characters to choose from at the start of the game, with the option to unlock a ...

Economics & Informatics 16/05/2005

Very Eco-Friendly!

Economics & Informatics Having just completed my three years tuition as a Mathematics and Business Management student, with just my exams left to go, I feel I'm in a good a position to comment on the current standard of teaching at the University of Derby. The focus of the review will be on the teaching of Economics at the university. During my time at the university I have completed all the modules available to me in Economics and completed a dissertation in the area too, and so I believe I am able to give a broad view of what can be expected to those interested in taking up Economics in any form at the University of Derby. NOTE: As with any university, courses are always subject to change and the details were correct to my knowledge at the time of writing. You will always be advised to check prospectuses for course information before applying for a given course at this or any other university. The Economics section of the university is within the Derbyshire Business School. There are currently three main teachers of Economics at the University; Derek Fry, Melanie Powell and Eugen Mihaita. I personally however have only had experience of the teachings of the first two, and this will therefore provide the basis for my analysis of the level of teaching of the University as a whole. My first encounter of Economics at the University of Derby was in my first year. This was an introductory module about economics in business - taught by Melanie Powell. This module provides an excellent ...

10 Most Annoying Sayings 11/05/2005

What are you on about?!?

10 Most Annoying Sayings There are so many sayings going about these days, and lets be honest, most of them don't make sense do they? In fact some can be so far-fetched that they are down-right annoying. Hence this wonderful list I am about to provide for you lovely Ciaoers of my top 10 most annoying sayings. 10. *Phone goes* "Oh who's that calling now!?" I don't know love, why don't you get up and answer the damn thing and you'll find out! Why is it that people will spend more time considering who it is that is calling them than actually making an effort to answer the phone? Honestly until mankind's general telepathic ability improves, such a question really is redundant, as you can't be 100% certain who is calling you until you answer the phone. Grr. 9. "It be right" Now there is nothing inherently wrong with Yorkshire folk really. That is of course until you come to their speech (lol only joking - so no need for a barrage of abuse!). I believe this phrase in Yorkshire means something like "I believe everything is going to be fine" in the English language, but unfortunately it gets reduced to three words, that are generally muttered so fast it's impossible to understand what's going on. You know what? Everything'd be right if you used proper English! lol! (I love the Yorkshire accent really!) 8. *A car goes screeching past you on the motorway* "Ooh he wont get anywhere fast!" Er, yes he ruddy well will - he's going faster than us, so chances are he's going to cover more ...

All About Me 06/05/2005

My LIfe - A Work In Progress...

All About Me Seeing as I've been on Ciao for a while, and I haven't really divulged much about myself, I thought now would be the perfect time to do so, and this would be the best place. *BIRTH* My name is Chris, and I was born on 29th September 1983, making me a ripe old 21 years old to date. I live in a semi-detached house in a quite large village in Northamptonshire called Bugbrooke. I lived there all my life with my parents, and twin brother Philip and sister Natalie. Me and my twin were born 9 weeks premature, and I weighed only 2lbs 15oz and my brother 2lbs less when we were born. We had to be kept in hospital for several weeks after birth to ensure our survival. I also had to have a hernia operation soon after birth which meant I was in hospital for a long time after I was born; my twin however was allowed home. We are non-identical twins before any of you ask (lol) and I've yet to experience any "link" between him and myself. *EARLY YEARS* Fast-forward a few years (past my brother always going for a poo under my gran's table and him always biting me so he could take my Rich Tea Finger biscuit) and its time for Primary School. Me and my brother, like most in my village went to the village Primary School - Bugbrooke County Primary School. It was quite a large primary school - holding over 300 pupils. I made some great friends at this school and have some fond memories of the place. Without blowing my own trumpet, I developed a reasonably high intelligence from ...

Worms 3D (GameCube) 06/04/2005

Grab a Gran!

Worms 3D (GameCube) There's something remarkably satisfying about launching an exploding old woman or a sheep at a fellow annelid. Watching as the unsuspecting worm flies through the air and ends up either with his head stuck in the ground or sinking endlessly into the drink as an ex-worm, has a certain appeal to it. This is the premise for the very successful Worms series. Team 17, the software company behind the very concept and development of the Worms games produce this latest iteration so that for the first time the experience can be delivered in a 3D setting. The Worms series began in 1994 with the critically acclaimed Worms. It was a 2D shooter in which many of the games features were laid out - most of which still stand today. It was hailed as a classic, as the random level generator potentially could create up to 4 billion different landscapes, allowing for a different experience every time. The main idea in the game series is to command your team of worms. Each team of worms has a specified arsenal of amazing weaponry ranging from simple bazookas and grenades to powerful sticks of dynamite to create massive explosions, and air strikes to batter the enemy from above with a barrage of bullets. As well as weaponry, the team also have special items at their disposal to add a further tactical element to the game. Ninja ropes can be used to traverse the landscape at speed, girders can be placed to provide extra platforms, and special teleport abilities allow worms in tight spots ...

Peter Kay - Live At The Top Of The Tower (DVD) 01/04/2005

Lets make Rola Cola Cubes! Mmmmmmmm!!!

Peter Kay - Live At The Top Of The Tower (DVD) Unless you've been living under a rock for the past 4 years, you can't failed to have noticed Peter Kay and his refreshing new style of comedy. This DVD sees him on his "Mum needs a Bungalow Tour" and the current performance being at the top of Blackpool Tower (hence the cunningly named title). Coming off of the success of the hilariously funny John Smith's adverts as well as hit shows such as Peter Kay's Pheonix nights, That Peter Kay thing and one-off shows such as The Services, Kay has turned to stand-up tours with great success. The style that Kay uses is based heavily on his Bolton roots which he does not shy away from. This combined with comical expression-based punchlines reminiscent of Les Dawson and even Tommy Cooper, complete with witty put-downs and superb one-liners similar to say the style of more recent comedians of say Ricky Gervais, Jack Dee or Lee Evans, all with a very distinguished Bolton accent makes for a very different experience, and one that is truly welcomed. The content of the show sees Kay covering a wide range of topics, from summer holidays to Blackpool, holidays abroad, summer holidays in general, and then the dreaded trip back to school in the autumn! The one major trump card that Kay has in his comical reparte is the ability to question social norms and things that we do everyday that are absurd when you observe them from a distance. This mockery of everyday life - and specifically northern/bolton life - is the basis of his humour, ... 29/03/2005

Place your bets! With the seemingly large influx of televsion stations devoting entire schedules to the world of poker, it is no surprise to see interest in the game rise dramatically in recent years. allows you to play poker with people across the world either for fun, or to play with real money in ordinary tables or in sanctioned tournaments. Upon typing in the website address you are presented with the informative home page. Truepoker is not a site where gamers come to play poker, this is in fact the place where you can download software onto your computer that allows you to play. Using the software the computer connects you to the Truepoker server, where upon entering, your username is authenticated and you are ready to play. The website itself is very appealing as it provides a wealth of information without seeming to be too crowded or over-complicated. For those wanting to simply download the software, there is a clear link to do so, however the site also provides reassurance for others who are not so sure. The site details the ins and outs of how to play TruePoker, including a preview of the game as well as providing an introductorary tutorial on how to play poker itself. The site also details its policies for you to peruse for peace of mind as well as detailing the security issues and how the site is kept secure and the server monitored for your protection. Also on the site there is regular news updates and promotional material that keeps you up to date with all ...

Joey 25/03/2005

How you doin'!

Joey Right before we start can I clear one thing up, Joey is NOT Friends! In the same way that Frasier was not Cheers, these spin-offs attempt to provide a new angle on a series in an attempt to not only be successful, but to broaden people's perspectives on characters. The most current spin-off as already mentioned is Joey, the self-titled show about one of the six main stars of the cult tv classic Friends, whose success spanned 10 series and never seemed to dry up. The spin-off sees Joey (who is played by Matt LeBlanc) move to Los Angeles in an attempt to further his acting career that he pursued in New York whilst in Friends. LeBlanc plays Joey as a charismatic charmer, who despite lacking in the intelligence department, he more than makes up for in charm and success with the ladies. He moved to Los Angeles to stay near his sister Gina (Drea de Matteo - "Swordfish") who is a feisty, upbeat and occasionally rude hairdresser looking to make it big in the world of celebrity stylists. Her son Michael (Paulo Constanzo - "40 days and 40 nights", "Road Trip") is a highly intelligent college student who is witty, but unlucky in love. Other key roles include Alex (Andrea Anders - "The Stepford Wives") who is the polite and beautiful girl next door, and Bobbie Morganstern (Jennifer Coolidge - "American Pie 1, 2 & 3") as Joey's feisty and comical new agent in LA. People who watch this on the back of Friends are going to like it but at the same time be disappointed. On the one ...
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